The best toaster oven has
- Simple controls. Having lots of settings is nice, but they
can make a toaster oven overly complex. Stick to three dials -- cook function,
temperature setting and a timer -- if you'll use the oven for basic baking and
- Audible alerts. Look for a model that beeps when food is
done. It should be loud enough to hear, yet not sound like the smoke detector
going off in the kitchen.
- Auto-eject racks. A rack that pops out halfway when the
oven door is opened makes it easier to remove hot food.
- Automatic shut-off. Reduce the risk of burned food and accidental
fires with an auto shut-off feature. Most toaster ovens turn off after 30 to 60
- A removable, accessible crumb tray. A crumb tray
that slides out from the front rather than the back can be emptied while the
oven is hot. Otherwise, you'll need to move or lift the oven to access the
tray. A crumb tray that removes completely is also easier to clean than one
that does not.
- A nonstick interior. Toaster ovens with nonstick interiors
are easy to clean. Some models also come with nonstick baking trays.
Know before you go
do you plan to cook? Some toaster ovens toast six slices of bread at a time; others toast two to
four slices. They also can bake meats and cook pizzas. Determining the types and
quantities of food you want to cook will help you decide what size toaster oven
much counter space do you have? Toaster ovens come in
all sizes. Know beforehand what your space limitations are, making sure to
include extra room around the unit for ventilation.
you prefer convection cooking? Many -- but not all -- toaster ovens have a
convection feature that speeds up cooking and saves energy.
Value expectations: the
dollars and cents of it
toaster oven can be quite an investment. Our Best Reviewed convection oven, the Breville The Smart Oven
BOV800XL, costs $250. Others are priced in the $100 to $200 range, while toaster/toaster
oven combos cost $100 or less. All the ovens in this report come with a
warranty, which owners use often when their toaster ovens go on the blink.
Aside from buying extra accessories like baking pans, no additional costs are
associated with owning a toaster oven. In fact, using a toaster oven instead of
a conventional oven can save you money on energy costs.